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Stafford Olympian Alison Williamson re-launches her old gym

By Richard Guttridge | Stafford | News | Published:

The re-opening of a gym was marked in style at a festival jam-packed with sport.

Families were given a treat at the Beacon Show, which was held to mark the re-launch of the Beacon Sports and Fitness centre in Stafford.

A lion dance and martial arts display, police dog display, bouncy castle, rodeo and go karts were all part of the fun.

Hockey, basketball and volleyball teams also showed off their skills.

Olympic archer, Alison Williamson, who hails from Stafford and used to train at the gym, joined the town's mayor Aidan Godfrey at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday.

The gym, at the former Staffordshire University campus in Beaconside, closed last year when the site was sold to the Chinese New Beacon Group.

It has since been refurbished by the new owners and re-opened for the public.

Deputy chief executive Mark Mabey said: "The first thing we wanted to do was rejuvenate the sports centre. We have done a total refurbishment of the sports centre and now it is up and running.

"We have only been open a couple of weeks and have already got a couple of hundred members."

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Mr Mabey said Williamson, who represented Great Britain at six consecutive Olympic Games up to London 2012 and won a bronze medal in 2004, was happy to attend the event and had been keen for the gym to return.

He said: "Alison used to come here to train and she is really passionate about it and was really upset when it closed down. She was delighted to come down.

The takeover will also see the former main university campus in Stafford re-open as a higher education centre.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
@RichG_star

Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton

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